What you need to know
- Google's own Tensor G4 reportedly had been delayed due to multiple reasons.
- The search giant is aiming to launch its first fully in-house made processor, the Tensor G5, with the Pixel 10 series.
- Google could likely ditch Samsung Semiconductors in favor of TSMC to make Tensor chips in the future.
Google was late to the party when making its chips. OEM makers like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei were early adopters. Though Tensor chips are custom designed by Google, they are still based on Samsung's Exynos models.
A new report from The Information (via Android Authority) reveals that Google is indeed working on new custom chipsets for Pixel phones, one of which was apparently delayed, according to persons familiar with the matter who told The Information. The chipset in regard is codenamed "Redondo," for the alleged Tensor G4 that was believed to power the next iteration of Pixel phones, the Pixel 9 series.
The Information quoted a former Google executive claiming that challenges between the American and Indian teams and a high personnel turnover rate brought on the difficulty in building the chip. They further claimed that this wasn't the first time the search giant canceled Tensor chips; it had seen a couple of them in the last two years.
This move resulted in Google sticking to Samsung-made semi-custom chipsets for the next year's Pixel phones. However, since the Redondo chipset is not seeing the light of day, Google has other plans with yet another processor codenamed "Laguna," which is said to be built on a 3nm process and presumably named Tensor G5, aiming to release in 2025.
The Tensor G5 would have several advantages when it lands on Pixel phones, as Google will have full authority to mold the chipset per its preferences. That said, Arm-designed CPUs and GPUs will likely stay dependent on other chipset makers.
The company that makes current-generation Tensor chipsets — Samsung Semiconductor — will likely be ousted in favor of TSMC for future Tensor chipset fabrication.
We saw this happen with Qualcomm last year as they used Samsung Semiconductor to make the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 — a chipset known for relatively poor performance and overheating issues — then switched to TSMC for the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 later in the year. The differences were huge, and it's entirely possible that future Tensor processors will see the same kinds of improvements.
As mentioned earlier, this move means Google could ideally make its own Tensor with modern and higher power efficiency chipsets that power the future Pixel phones, including foldables.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.